A Free Press

TimeWatch Editorial
February 19, 2017

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, writing in the Atlantic Magazine on March 13, 2012 entitled, “Early Warnings: How American Journalists Reported the Rise of Hitler,” makes the point that most of our journalists did not necessarily take Hitler seriously. Jennie Rothenberg Gritz  says “some of them burst out laughing at his shrill voice and jerky hand movements and refused to take him seriously. You had Americans meeting Hitler and saying, "This guy is a clown. He's like a caricature of himself." And a lot of them went through this whole litany about how even if Hitler got into a position of power, other German politicians would somehow be able to control him. Of course, everyone began to reassess that very quickly after he took power.On the other hand, there were those who definitely took him seriously from the very beginning.

“Truman Smith, who was a junior military attaché in the 1920s, came away from meeting Hitler and said, "This is a marvelous demagogue who can really inspire loyalty." It was the same with Karl von Wiegand, a Hearst correspondent who was the first American journalist to interview Hitler back in 1922. He was struck by Hitler's oratorical skills and his ability to whip people into a frenzy. Edgar Mowrer, the Chicago Daily News correspondent, kept frantically trying to warn readers and the world, "What he's saying about the Jews is serious. Don't underestimate him." ” Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, “Early Warnings: How American Journalists Reported the Rise of Hitler,”

One of the most important avenues that Hitler insisted on controlling was the press. It was important that the Nazis controlled the minds of all Germany. In order to accomplish this, The GO SOCIAL STUDIES GO Website on World History states that:

The Nazi’s took control of the media. Radio and television stations churned out propaganda that praised the Nazi’s defense of Germany against the Jews, the Russians, the Americans, and the French. Newspapers printed racist cartoons that showed Jews as vile human beings preying on innocent Germans. To get his message across Hitler made it easy for every German to afford a radio. The final act of Nazi mind control came with the book burnings. The works of Jewish, communist, and liberal authors were banned and publicly burned in huge bonfires. The works of Karl Marx, H.G. Wells, Albert Einstein, and Upton Sinclair were tossed into the flames by the thousands. For anyone caught with a copy of banned book that was often enough for the entire family to be shipped off to a concentration camp.” Go Social Studies Go Website on World History website.

The Holocaust Encyclopedia Website describes in much detail how the hatred of a free press was assaulted by the Nazis. In fact they were extremely successful at eradicating the concept of a free press, replacing it with “alternative facts,” which were then described as propaganda. In fact the argument was put forward, that the regular press could not be trusted. Ultimately, the only presses that were permitted to function were those organizations who were TOLD what to say or those that had been taken over or seized by the masters. Listen to how the Holocaust Encyclopedia puts it.

“The elimination of the German multi-party political system not only brought about the demise of hundreds of newspapers produced by outlawed political parties; it also allowed the state to seize the printing plants and equipment of the Communist and Social Democratic Parties, which were often turned over directly to the Nazi Party. In the following months, the Nazis established control or exerted influence over independent press organs. During the first weeks of 1933, the Nazi regime deployed the radio, press, and newsreels to stoke fears of a pending “Communist uprising,” then channeled popular anxieties into political measures that eradicated civil liberties and democracy. SA (storm troopers) and members of the Nazi elite paramilitary formation, the SS, took to the streets to brutalize or arrest political opponents and incarcerate them in hastily established detention centers and concentration camps. Nazi thugs broke into opposing political party offices, destroying printing presses and newspapers.” The Press in the Third Reich, Establishing Control Of The Press, The Holocaust Encyclopedia Website  

The Nazis didn’t bother to develop a system of non-disclosure agreements. They went directly to intimidation. The press today has not yet been subject to anything more than verbal intimidation. One of the reasons why today’s governmental leaks are so perplexing to those in power is because the United States law has not yet a Non-Disclosure Agreement enforcement process that would prevent whistleblower activity. As Patricia Murphy who writes for the Daily Beast, in an article dated November 11, 2016 says:

“As a businessman and presidential candidate, Donald Trump not only valued discretion in his employees, he legally guaranteed it by requiring them to sign lengthy nondisclosure agreements. One Trump Non-Disclosure Agreement obtained by the Associated Press gagged Trump associates throughout their employment and “at all times thereafter.” It barred them from sharing any insider details in the future and made it clear that they could be sued for disparaging any member of the Trump family, including Barron and Melania Trump or any of Trump’s 10 grandchildren. The Non-Disclosure Agreement applied to everyone from Trump’s top employees in the Trump Organization to campaign volunteers and even the guy who made the famous “Make America Great Again” hats. But as Trump begins to assemble his new team at the White House and in the Executive Branch, federal employment-law experts say there’s no way for Trump to put a similar gag order in place as president…Yet.” Patricia Murphy, “Trump Can’t Legally Make New Staff Sign NDAs—Yet,” The Daily Beast, November 11, 2016

So the question must be, how intense will the tension with the press become? What will the ultimate result be? Ironically, there is a quotation found in Manuscript Release Vol 15, page 258, paragraph 3 which, in referring to our responsibility where truth is concerned says:

“The missionaries of the Christian church are to stand in their God-given manhood, with the privilege of exercising freedom of speech and freedom of faith. When they see that a fellow laborer is not doing as a man in his position ought to do, they are not to harmonize with his plans, or to be cowered into silence by a masterful spirit. For them to do this would be a great injury to him and to them.”  Manuscript Release Vol 15, page 258, paragraph 3

Those who would seek to change the fundamentals of this nation should take warning concerning that which made it great in the first place. The Great Controversy page 441, paragraph 1 says the following:

“Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and down-trodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.”  The Great Controversy page 441, paragraph 1

Be warned!

Cameron A. Bowen

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